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World of Warcraft Game Play & Systems Deep Dive

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In this panel, we learned details about Azerite, a new source to empower your gear in Battle for Azeroth. The devs also talked about Warfronts and new social features and improvements, like chat history, voice chat integration and communities.

Rundown

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Azerite

  • Azeroth is hemorrhaging and her life essence seeps out.
  • Players will be collecting Azerite to empower their gear.

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Island Expeditions

  • New dynamic three-player content available in Battle for Azeroth.
  • Queues will be short. They want to make it possible for even three tanks to complete the scenarios.
  • Everytime you come to the location, additional gameplay elements are scattered across the world and all of the stuff is generated.
  • Everytime you come here, you will find different creatures with diferent amounts of Azerite and threats.
  • There is always an optimal way to play through the scenario. 

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Variations

The content will vary all the time, different mobs, challenges and amount of Azerite to earn.

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You will face different environmental hazards (Faction Champions) in the scenario. Blizzard got probably inspired by Invasion Points here.

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Island Features

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AI Improvements (Advanced NPCs)

  • New creatures are programmed as advanced NPCs.
  • The new AI makes smart tactical decisions (e.g. it can polymorph you, mount up and leave, because it has better things to do.
  • The new feature will ship with four difficulties.

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Un'gor Ruins (Island Preview)

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Havenswood (Island Preview)

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Heart of Azeroth

  • Magni believes that The Heart of Azeroth is the key to heal Azeroth.
  • The new Artifact is a focal point of your character progress.
  • Heart of Azeroth levels up using Azerite.
  • Whenever you loot an item, your HoA does not change.
  • There are no progression setbacks whatsoever.
  • Each item has the same layout and stronger powers.
  • Strength of the individual traits in HoA depend on the item level of your item,

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Azerite Armor Powers: Commonality

  • Blizzard wants the choices to be about how you express yourself as a character or as a player.
  • Shaman Example: Choice between Ghost Wolf trait (increased speed) vs. Astral Shift trait (reduced damage taken while the ability is active).
  • If you tend to stand in fire, you take the latter.

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Warfronts

  • 20 player cooperative instance
  • Alliance vs. Horde
  • All out war
  • Warcraft RTS fantasy

Warfront: Stromgarde

  • The first warfront added to the game

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Objectives

  • Alliance will try to reclaim Stromgarde and use it to defend themself from the Horde. 
  • Gather Resources for yourself that can be contributed to whatever building you'd like to build. 
  • Taking Territory - unlocks new possibilities, upgrades etc.

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The Battle Continues

  • Fight different enemy commanders
  • Research new war technology
  • Battlefield events

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Social Features

Current Social Structures

  • If you're in a guild, you probably have a scheduled worked out, but Blizzard wants to make communication easier for those, who don't.

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Battle.Net Voice Chat Integration

  • The voice chat will be integrated into the game.

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Communities

  • Roster of members
  • Simple role management
  • Quick join
  • Voice integration
    Auto-maintained calendar invites
  • Text chat history will be added to the game
  • All the features will also be available to Guilds (voice integration, text history, auto-maintained calendar invites).

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Guild & Communities

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